Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Anti-Depressants May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

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wylidas:
It was recently brought to my attention that Efavirenz (Sustiva) has had investigation into it for years now that one of the components within the drug causes addiction like qualities, similar to benzodiazepines. There was actually an ABC News story that talked about how people in South Africa were smoking it and getting high and addicted to it.

I just find it interesting. Makes me wonder what else are in HIV meds that may be doing more harm than good...

BT65:
Wylidas, you had a bad reaction when coming off benzo's because you were going through withdrawal.  Had nothing to do with anti-depressants or how different people react to them.  Benzo's are a horrible withdrawal-I know, been through it tons of times. 

Miss Philicia:
Can we all be careful of the language used -- benzos can be horrible in terms of withdrawal, but they are not for most people.

wylidas:
Miss Philicia-  I would actually politely disagree with the term 'most people' are ok coming off benzos. Many studies actually show that about 40-50% of people have difficulty coming off them if they are taken longer than 14 days. I have literature to back this up if you'd care to look at it. It's based on over 30 years of experience with Dr. Heather Ashton's work in helping people with tranquilizer and benzo usage and dependency. It is only a small number of people who have PROTRACTED withdrawal symptoms lasting more then 18 months. But most people who have difficulty (again that 40-50% range) take between 6 and 18 months to recover.

So while I respect your wanting to be careful about the terms we use, it's by no means a small number of people who experience trouble with benzos. And there are MANY people who go undiagnosed for a long time, only to realize their medical problems were benzo related all along, so the  40-50% number are just the ones we have documented in studies. It could be higher. But you're right that not every person has trouble coming off. My mother, for instance, had zero trouble after being on xanax for years. That's why a person's unique chemistry plays a large role in how they will react.

wylidas:
Hey BT65- I would actually be curious to talk to you about your experience with benzos. I have yet to find someone on these boards who can relate to what I have been through. Feel free to PM me if ya like. You seem to have quite a history and I'd love to hear what you've been through.

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